The alternative Diagonale (3-7 March, 2004) has taken another major step forward towards realisation with the appointment of a seven-person committee to select the films and programme the festival.

The programme committee's members are: film journalist Frank Arnold, film academic Robert Buchschwenter, film academic Birgit Flos, curator and writer Marcy Goldberg, curator Stella Rollig, film journalist Alexandra Seibel, and film historian and curator Sylvia Szely.

In its first official statement, the committee said: "Austrian filmmaking carries on needing a platform which will draw the attention of the audience, the film industry and both local and international film critics to Austrian films and offer the opportunity to see and discuss the year's production."

"This event was and is the ORIGINAL DIAGONALE in Graz. The edition of the festival in 2004 will be made possible - despite acute lack of money - by the strong support from the film industry as well as the team's unprecedented commitment", they added.

The original Diagonale's organisers announced that more than 100 films have already been submitted since the press conference held on 21 November, and filmmakers are also invited to propose thematic film programmes and discussions for consideration by the programme committee for the 2004 edition.